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Research Letter
Firearm Violence
April 13, 2020

Risk of Suicide, Homicide, and Unintentional Firearm Deaths in the Home

Author Affiliations
  • 1Firearm Injury & Policy Research Program, Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
  • 2Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
  • 3King County Medical Examiner’s Office, Seattle, Washington
  • 4Public Health Seattle and King County, Seattle, Washington
JAMA Intern Med. 2020;180(6):909-911. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.0806

Personal protection is a frequently cited reason for firearm ownership.1 However, access to firearms in the home has been associated with an increased risk of death from suicide and homicide among household members.2 In 1986, Kellermann and Reay3 reviewed all the gunshot deaths in King County, Washington, from 1978 to 1983, including 398 that occurred in the residence where the firearm was kept. They found that for every self-protection homicide involving a firearm kept in the home, there were 1.3 accidental deaths, 4.6 criminal homicides, and 37 suicides involving firearms. We sought to update this study, using King County data from 2011 to 2018.

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